ASEAN Scouting Report: Wingers

 

In my penultimate ASEAN scouting article I’m looking at wingers. We’ve covered goalkeepers, defenders and midfielders, so next we have our creative geniuses, our speed demons and some really big names with even bigger price tags. Is it realistic to think that Port could sign most of these guys? No, not really, but it’s good to dream big, and to know what’s out there.

 


 

Billy Ketkeophomphone

 

 

Transfermarkt Value: ฿20m

Position: RW / ST

Current Club: SO Cholet (French third tier)

Nationality: French/Laos

Age: 29

Height: 1.80m

 

It would be an absolutely fantastic move to bring French-Laotian winger Billy Ketkeophomphone to Thailand. He’d walk in to any team in the country. Unfortunately just this Wednesday he signed on for SO Cholet after having been a free agent since June. The Bullet of Lao possesses power, pace and fantastic dribbling, which would give Port a very different option to Pakorn on the right flank. He can even play up top, which is a bonus. In a world where he was still available and the Laotian government had more relaxed rules on dual citizenship this could be a massive move, but it seems extremely unlikely as things stand. Just watch his highlight reel and dream.

 

Stefano Lilipaly

 

 

Transfermarkt Value: ฿15m

Position: RW

Current Club: Bali Utd (Indonesian first tier)

Nationality: Dutch/Indonesian

Age: 29

Height: 1.75m

 

Stefano Lilipali is without question one of the best players in South East Asia. He’s played in The Netherlands, Japan and Indonesia and has 24 caps for Indonesia. He’s currently playing for Liga 1 Champions Bali Utd, and apparently has one more year left on his contract, but it’s possible he could be tempted by a move to one of the best teams in South East Asia’s top league. His right footed set-piece deliveries are perhaps his greatest strength, but he’s a player who can do it all, as you can see from this 2018 highlight reel. This signing would be a major coup for any Thai team, but he’d cost significantly more than what Transfermarkt estimate.

 

Mohamadou Sumareh

 

 

Transfermarkt Value: ฿8m

Position: RW

Current Club: Pahang FA

Nationality: Gambian/Malaysian

Age: 28

Height: 1.79m

 

This would be a tough one to pull off, but my word if it came off it would be something. Sumareh was born in The Gambia but moved to Malaysia in 2013 and has since been granted Malaysian citizenship. He’s scored 6 goals in 18 games for Malaysia from the right wing, with his pace and power making him unplayable at times. His stunning volleyed finish against Thailand earlier this month was a match-winner, and it was only a monstrous performance from Brendan Gan than stopped him scooping the man of the match award. The tricky part of this is that his true value is much higher than Transfermarkt suggests. As a nationalized Malaysian his value is higher to Malaysian clubs than to Thai clubs, and his club Pahang FA have got him tied down to a big-money long term contract. This highlight reel is taken just from his national team games this year, but there’s still plenty to get excited about. Still, we can dream…

 

Pasqual Verkamp

 

 

Transfermarkt Value: ฿2.5m

Position: LM

Current Club: SV Viktoria Aschaffenburg (German fourth tier)

Nationality: German/Thai

Age: 22

Height: 1.80m

 

The first three on the list are practically unattainable, so I’ve gone for an eminently plausible signing here. The German fourth tier may not be all that, but we’ve seen European players playing at a similar level come over and take the Thai league by storm before. His form is good, having scored 5 and assisted 4 in 16 games this season, and he’d be mad not to jump at the chance to play for a top Thai team. We’d be mad not to try and sign him, too. Well, I say that but I’ve never actually seen him play, as his name brings up nothing whatsoever on Youtube. He’s probably pretty decent, though. Maybe.

 

Christian Rontini

 

 

Transfermarkt Value: ฿800,000

Position: LW

Current Club: Sangiovannese (Italian fourth tier)

Nationality: Italian/Filipino

Age: 20

Height: –

 

Christian Rontini would be a speculative signing, as he’s a youngster and he’s playing in Italy’s fourth tier. He has, however, been capped already by The Philippines, making his debut in a friendly against China earlier this year. He could provide a useful option from the bench, although Port do already have plenty of options in that position who would all be ahead of him in the pecking order. Again I’m lacking a highlight reel here; the closest thing I’ve found as an interview. In Italian. He’s just been called up to the Philippines SEA Games squad, so Thai clubs should be watching closely to see what the youngster can do.

 


 

For inquiries about other players I’ve looked at in the research for this article, send me an email at earlsy@outlook.com

 

Tom Earls

Tom Earls

Having moved to Thailand aged 10, Tom has been playing or watching football in Thailand for more than 18 years. A keen follower of the Thai National Team and an avid fan of Port FC, he is a regular contributor to The Sandpit.

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